Examining the cognitive and affective trust-based mechanisms underlying the relationship between ethical leadership and organisational citizenship: A case of the head leading the heart?

Alexander Harry Newman, Kohyar Kiazad, Qing Miao, Brian Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the trust-based mechanisms underlying the relationship between ethical leadership and followers? organisational citizenship behaviours (OCBs). Based on three-wave survey data obtained from 184 employees and their supervisors, we find that ethical leadership leads to higher levels of both affective and cognitive trust. In addition, we find support for a three-path mediational model, where cognitive trust and affective trust, in turn, mediate the relationship between ethical leadership and follower OCBs. That is to say, we found that ethical leadership leads to the development of cognitive trust, which subsequently influences the development of affective trust. Affective trust, in turn, induces followers to exhibit OCBs as a means of reciprocating the leader?s favourable behaviour. Our findings suggest that both affective and cognitive trust plays an important role in the social exchange processes that underlie the relationship between ethical leadership and the discretionary behaviour of followers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113 - 123
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Volume123
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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